“People do not understand what space or satellite does for them. They do not understand the benefits; they do not understand that most of the things they actually enjoy come as a direct or indirect spinoff from space technology”.
These are the words of the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Nigeria Communication Satellite Ltd (NIGCOMSAT), Abimbola Alale, on the benefits and contribution of space technology to global development.
Abimbola Alale is the only female CEO in satellite operations companies in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and other parts of the world. Before her appointment by former President Goodluck Jonathan, she was the Marketing Director of the NIGCOMSAT. Her career started at the National Space Research and Development Agency, Nigeria, where she was a project secretary. She has also worked on various national projects including the NIGCOMSAT 1R project.
Alale’s love for astronomy took her to the International Space University in France to undertake her postgraduate studies in Space Studies and MBA in Space Management.
In her position, Alale envisions the achievement of the desired ICT penetration in Nigeria. Her mission is to make Nigerians understand the benefits of the space programme in Nigeria. She is focused on space business as a way to show Nigerians how satellite programmes can be used as a tool to bridge the digital divide in the country.
Her efforts in bridging the digital divide were recognised when NIGCOMSAT received the Most Outstanding Government Agency of the Year. She also shared the ICT Woman of the Year Award with the CEO of MainOne, Funke Opeke, at the Africa Digital Awards.
Abimbola Alale has encouraged youths, most especially women, not to limit themselves to just their specific disciplines, but to embrace ICT, so as to expand their horizons.